PDA

View Full Version : M1A National Match Question


billsf100
January 30, 2011, 09:30 PM
I am looking for some advice. I have just purchased a Springfield NA9102 National Match. I know very little about these rifles. I would like to know your opinion on two subjects. One of the books I am reading on the M1A talks about all the places to put grease on my rifle, what kind of grease? I have not been able to go shooting my new rifle yet, and I want to buy some ammo in bulk instead of 20 rd boxes. I will not shoot steel case wolf in my rifle. I found some fair priced Winchester, the boxes are marked

WIN USA 7.62X51 NATO 147GR FMJ, the guy called it a Q load. The box was also marked Q3130. I would like to buy 200-400 rounds, just to learn how to shoot my rifle. Anyone ever shoot these? One last question, is there a really nice rifle cleaning kit made just for the M1A, with all the stuff I will need to maintain my match rifle. Thanks for the input.

ssblair
January 31, 2011, 01:01 AM
My first question is: Why are you dropping $2000+ to buy a rifle that you don't know much/anything about?

Beyond that, your best bet to get some bulk ammo for plinking would be to look for some surplus 7.62x51 ammo. Don't use the 308 Winchester stuff at Walmart--that's probably not good for the oprod. A LOT of countries make and 7.62x51 so you'll want to search around the forums for which countries or headstamps are corrosive or overly hot and stay away from those (offhand I think some Indian and maybe Pakistani are corrosive). You will find that most of the foreign surplus 7.62 ammo is berdan primed, so you probably won't be able to reload it.

If you bought a National Match model of the M1A, then I'm guessing that you're looking to get into competition. Off the shelf, I think I have heard that Federal Gold Medal Match ammo is the best you can get commercially. Working up your own handloads will be the most accurate, of course. M1As are pretty rough on the brass, so I've heard that Winchester brass is heavy and popular. But you will need to learn how to reload before you get into that.

As for cleaning, I prefer cleaning rods that are made of something softer than the barrel steel, so brass or aluminum, or something coated in plastic. Same goes for the tips at the end; jag, patch loop, and brush. You'll also want a chamber brush, which works with the Army multi-tool which would be a good investment to make. You would get most of this in an Army-issue M14 maintenance kit that you can get at Numrich gunparts corp (http://www.gunpartscorp.com/catalog/Detail.aspx?pid=884520&catid=11894), but I would avoid using the steel cleaning rod. Also, this is a must must must--get a cleaning rod guide, so you don't mess up the crown of the muzzle with friction from the cleaning rod.

kraigwy
January 31, 2011, 01:30 AM
To make it simple, after you shoot the rifle a bit, you are gonna see shinny marks. That's where you put the grease.

Since you are new to the M1A, if you PM me with your e-mail address and I'll send you, in .pdf format the operators manuel for the M14/M1A. It'll get you started.

SVO
January 31, 2011, 01:33 AM
The Winchester 7.62 ammo will be just fine for your M1A. The brass will be fine for reloading should you decide to do that later. The M1A doesn't have the op rod issue that one has the the 30-06 in the M1 Garand. :rolleyes: As one M1A owner to another, welcome to the M1A club and good luck with your new gun.

madcratebuilder
January 31, 2011, 08:11 AM
The Winchester well be fine plinking ammo. Any quality rifle grease well work just fine. You can buy the small containers of usgi rifle grease very cheap.

Do some reading here, this site well tell you all you need to know about the M1A rifle.

http://www.m14tfl.com/upload/

SmokyBaer
January 31, 2011, 09:37 PM
For starters, polishing the bottom of your ferrul and smearing a tad of grease on that will keep the front band centered real close to the same spot on each round. Really need to keep the bolt roller and op rod greased and yes, keep an eye peeled for shiny spots. That's where you want the grease. Good luck with a great platform!!

RGPM1A
January 31, 2011, 10:01 PM
There are three books you should get to tell you how to understand and maintain your M1A;

The Complete Assembly Guide by Walt Kuleck and Clint McKee

The M14 Owners Guide by Scott Duff and John Miller

The US 30 Caliber Gas Operated Service Rifles By Jerry Kuhnhausen

IMHO the first two will be the most useful to you. The third is best for M1A geeks and people who will build their own rifle someday and really need to understand exactly how the M1A works.

As far as ammo goes your National Match will like 168 or 175 grain bullets best. Federal Gold Medal Match 168 grain MBTHP is good but expensive and American Eagle 168 grain OTM are very good and reasonable - about $12 to $17 a box. My scoped M1A M21 will shoot dime sized groups at 100 yards with this ammo. For plinking ammo try DAG Mil Surplus 147 grain 7.62x51 Nato . You can get this from many sources including Midway for $100 to $130 per 200 round battle pack. With this ammo you will get 1" to 2" groups at 100 yards.

++1 on the link madcrate listed.

Bart B.
February 1, 2011, 06:08 AM
Ssblair mentioned:

"Working up your own handloads will be the most accurate, of course."

I disagree. So did the military rifle teams whose members won so many matches at the Nationals and elswhere setting records along the way. The US Army and Nat'l. Guard Teams as well as the USMC one tried reloading the match brass used in their M14NM's as well as their personal M21A's. The US Navy and Air Force Team members tried the same thing with their M1's rebarreled to 7.62 NATO. Reloaded cases never shot as accurate as new ones; either commercial or arsenal match ammo or new unfired cases handloaded.

The reason is no bolts used in these rifles had their faces squared with the chamber axis. After a case is fired, their heads flatten out against the bolt face and stay there. Resizing such a fired case doesn't square the crooked case head back up. When it's chambered and fired, the high point on the case head will smack the bolt face at that point causing the initial backwards force to be off center to the bore. That causes the barrel to whip to a different angle for each shot. Which means the bullet fired will exit in a different direction for each shot. Of course, if the case is oriented in the chamber the way it was first fired, then this won't happen.

All the military teams as well as civilian shooters producing the best scores and accuracy with these rifles always got best accuracy with new cases.

kraigwy
February 1, 2011, 08:43 AM
That's not quite true Bart.

The AMU does in fact reload ammo for a lot of their matches. Years ago I spent some time in their reloading room.

Actually it was the Army that developed the M 852 Match Ammo using the 168 SMKs. The M-118 was going south. They started reloading and or Mexican Matching (pulling the 174s our of the M-118 and stuffing in 168s. The reason most military units don't reload is because it is (or was) against Army regulations.

The AMU of course was exempt, because of "testing purposes" and many NG Marksmanship got around the ideal by using state funds (in stead of Federal funds) to buy reloading components).

Whether reloaded ammo works better in your gun depends on the quality of reloads. Top High Power or Long Range Shooters do in fact reload their own ammo.

I've shot thousands upon thousands of match rounds out of my Heavy Match M1A. M118, Mexican Match, M852, and every reload combination you can can come up with.

Without a doubt the most accurate I've used was reloaded ammo. The best of that was Remington Special Brass with Small Primer Pockets and 168s (up to 600 and 180 SMKs at 1000. (That was the older 180s, which is more like todays 175s. The 180 SMKs you have today isn't the same as the 180s of the 70 & 80s).

Anyway if one wants to do it right, he would try every match round out there and every combination possible to find what works best in their gun.

Slamfire
February 1, 2011, 08:16 PM
The reason is no bolts used in these rifles had their faces squared with the chamber axis. After a case is fired, their heads flatten out against the bolt face and stay there. Resizing such a fired case doesn't square the crooked case head back up. When it's chambered and fired, the high point on the case head will smack the bolt face at that point causing the initial backwards force to be off center to the bore. That causes the barrel to whip to a different angle for each shot. Which means the bullet fired will exit in a different direction for each shot. Of course, if the case is oriented in the chamber the way it was first fired, then this won't happen

Due to differences in lug size, lug location, and the fact that the underside of the bolt is under compression, and the upper is under tension, bolt strain will always be asymmetrical. Highly asymmetrical I would think.

Still, you are a very darn good shot if you can tell the difference between good reloads and Federal Gold Medal match.

And if you can afford to shoot only Federal Gold Medal Match, then you have a lot more money than most people.

The AMU does in fact reload ammo for a lot of their matches. Years ago I spent some time in their reloading room.

Don't they use new cases?

What the AMU and USMC used to do was shoot factory match ammo to 300 yards. Used to be Federal Gold Medal match. I saw the USMC use Blackhills.

At 600 yards, they used their "reloads". New cases though.

pbcaster45
February 7, 2011, 10:43 AM
I've got a large quantity of Lake City 64 pull down brass which I use for my NM M1A. After cleaning out the leftover mouth sealant and neck sizing I shoot the loaded rounds thru my Savage 10FLP (for practice and to blow out any minor dents). Does shooting the brass through a bolt action first keep the case head square?

MythBuster
February 7, 2011, 11:18 AM
You are the proud owner of a rifleman's rifle.

Use it to learn real riflemen skills. Which means learning to use a sling and forgetting that a shooting bench even exists.

4EVERM-14
February 7, 2011, 03:25 PM
You are the proud owner of a rifleman's rifle.
Use it to learn real riflemen skills.
Which means learning to use a sling and
forgetting that a shooting bench even exists.

+1

The Earl o Sammich
February 7, 2011, 03:53 PM
Congratulations on your new rifle. You obviously put a little research it to this purchase in order to settle on the M1A NM. See it there is a club in you area that has a stong high power contiungent. There will be plenty of people there that are familiar tith that plat form and can help you avoid an ignorant mistakes. Just so you can see what the rifle is capable of go by a box of Federal Gold Medal Match 168 grn and shoot it off a bench with sand bags at 200 yards or so.

bfoosh006
February 8, 2011, 09:21 AM
http://www.m14tfl.com/upload/

+ 1

You'll have to join,( which costs nothing ), but it is worth it. That site is basically devoted to the M1A / M14, it has tons of info. The stickies have the info you need. And that Winc. 7.62x51 will be fine for the rifle... just don't expect it to be "Match" quality... Try these for some great factory ammo.. buy 'em in case lots.http://www.palmettostatearmory.com/1596.php... (great price... )
And...fairly decent stuff..http://www.palmettostatearmory.com/1599.php


Seriously join M14tfl.com.... you won't be sorry.

Bart B.
February 8, 2011, 12:03 PM
Slamfire, you asked if the military folks used new cases when the loaded ammo. Yes, they did, as far as I know, at least for the big matches. Both the military Active and Reserve Team Captains/Coaches have told me they got the best ammo that way. And regarding your "asymmetrical" bolt when it's locked up in battery, they'll all be pretty much be at the same place for each shot providing the shooter doesn't bump the op rod handle to "make sure" they're in battery (a bad thing to do if accuracy's important). This makes the out-of-square bolt face be at the same place and orientation for each shot. And all the reloaded once-fired cases won't be indexed the same as they were when first fired. So most of them will have their high point someplace besides at the low point on the bolt face; they're gonna shoot wild. This also applies to bolt guns.

KraigWY, I know the services reloaded ammo for matches. But they never took any reloaded once fired cases to the big ones such as Interservice or Nationals. It wouldn't surprise me they gave some to their rookies to use but all their top shooters I've talked with said they always used new cases, either handloaded ones or arsenal ammo

Slamfire
March 5, 2011, 10:41 PM
This makes the out-of-square bolt face be at the same place and orientation for each shot. And all the reloaded once-fired cases won't be indexed the same as they were when first fired. So most of them will have their high point someplace besides at the low point on the bolt face; they're gonna shoot wild. This also applies to bolt guns.
I grabbed a handful of match brass I fired in a M1a Super Match. This rifle is on its third match barrel. The brass is on its fifth resizing, the load is 168 Nosler Match, 41.0 grains Surplus 4895, LC90, CCI #34. Goes between 2550 and 2600 fps.

I used an RCBS Casemaster gage, http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=310955, and pushed the base hard against the post to ensure contact.

Neck runnout was normal, I could not tell that the base was out of square with the body.

I believe I checked before and after sizing.

I was surprised as I expected something to be out of alignment due to differing lug size and the way the bolt is loaded.